Target All Men on Father’s Day

cropped-cropped-mens-ministry11.jpgYou are thinking we are still almost two months from Father’s Day so why are we talking about Father’s Day now.  Well, let me ask you as Men’s Ministry Leaders and Pastors this question, ‘What are you doing to do to target your men on Father’s Day?’  I know, not all men are Dads, but a good number are.  And all of us have Dads.  What a great day to reach out to all the men of the church and community.

Some would argue that we should not celebrate Father’s Day as it is awkward for those who do not have children.  But the Bible tells us to honor our mothers and fathers (Exodus 20:12).  As a Men’s Ministry Consultant, I believe this day is a great day to target our men and we should take advantage of this day.

Sonora Smart Dodd in Spokane, Washington, who was one of six children raised by a widower, had an idea of having a day to celebrate our Fathers while sitting in church on Mother’s Day.  She went to local churches, the YMCA, and others to gather support for her idea.  On June 19, 1910 Washington State celebrated the first statewide Father’s Day in the nation.  Though Father’s Day has become a commercial entity in today’s culture, it does have its roots in the church.

If we are going to use Father’s Day to reach out to the men of our church and community, we need to start planning now.

2013-09-07 08.28.45A few years ago, when I was a Men’s Ministry Leader in a local church we gave out books to ALL the men who came on campus that day.  It was a book for all men, not just for dads.  We also invited the men to attend a six-week study of the book that would begin a couple of weeks after Father’s Day.  We had over 20 men take advantage of that opportunity.  As a result, we had several success stories from that book give away and study.  One story was a man who took the book to work and started meeting with some of his fellow workers before start time to work through the book.  Great things came out of that experience.  After finishing the book, the men wanted more.

This is just one activity you can do to reach your men through Father’s Day.  But there are others and here are some thoughts of some activities.  It is my hope this will whet your appetite for more and as you ponder on these maybe you can vision other activities your church can do.

  • Deliver a message that targets ALL the men encouraging them to be the men that God expects them to be.  Use this time to encourage the men on the hard work it is to be men of God in today’s environment.  Be sure you talk to all the men and be careful of isolating a particular group of men.  Nothing wrong though to spend a few minutes communicating gratitude and thankfulness for dads to be dads.
  • Have a Father/Son outing sometime during the weekend. Men whose children are grown or men who do not have children could adopt a fatherless child for this event.  This way you are inviting all men to participate.  If you have a military contingent in your area.  Think about the children whose dads are deployed during this time.
  • Reach out to those men in your church and community in the military and are deployed. Find out from their families what they would like to have and see if you can make it happen.
  • Give the men a book that will encourage them and offer a few weeks study of the book.
  • Arrange an outing to a sporting event that all men can participate. Or maybe a sports watch night in the fellowship hall or someone’s house on a big screen TV.

The suggestions below may not be associated with Father’s Day weekend but can be done in conjunction with;

  • Reach out to Dads who children are attending your local church’s VBS. Maybe provide a gift certificate to a local restaurant or sports event or Fair they can take their child to.  Or maybe a father/child Hot Dog dinner.
  • If your church has a summer day care ministry think on the same lines as above for the men whose children are involved.
  • Think about the Dads whose children are involved in the youth ministry or other children ministry activities.

These are just a few of the ideas a church can do to reach out and target men.  If we desire to reach our men we have to be intentional in our efforts.  Look around your church and you may see many other opportunities to reach your men.

So, once again, ‘What are you doing to intentionally target your men during Father’s Day weekend?’  Intentionality is one of the areas most Men’s Ministries are lacking in their quest to reach men for the kingdom of Christ.  If you want to reach more men and get them involve you have to be intentional in your efforts.

Just remember, on Father’s Day, don’t make it all about fathers but develop opportunities for ALL MEN!

Together in the adventure and challenge to disciple men – Mike.

Getting Men Involved in Men’s Ministry

20180407_135802[1]This past weekend I attended the North Carolina Baptist on Mission (NCBM) Mission Conference.  While there I assisted in leading breakout sessions on Men’s Ministry or Ministry to Men as I like to refer to it these days.

The attendees to the breakout sessions were asked to complete an information card with a couple of questions.  One of the questions was asking for their biggest struggle or challenge they faced in ministering to the men of their church.  The area most of the attendees stated their biggest challenge did not surprise me as this is what I often hear.  Their biggest challenge?  ‘How can we get more men involved including the younger men?’  This is a great question.

20180407_120229[1]This is a common issue with most churches who desire to have a vibrant ministry to men.  There are three areas that churches lack as they seek to reach the men of the church.  When I began in ministering to men a number of years ago my mentor share these with me and he regularly reminds me of them.  As I visit churches and talk with men’s leaders I see these ‘lack of actions’ in the majority of churches.  So, what are they?

  1. Lack of Intentionality. Failing to target the men of the church.  Many churches desire to have a ministry to men, but they do not target the men or think about how to involve the men in everything they do.  What does it mean to target men?  The pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church puts it this way, “We unashamedly target men in our church, in our messages, in our… well, almost everything.”  Statistics tells us that if you get the man, you get everyone else within his sphere of influence – especially his family.  With the younger men their lives have become so busy in this day they have very little time to attend another activity, so you have to think outside the box.  Which leads to the second point.
  2. Lack of Multiple Entry Points. Often, we think in terms of a Saturday Morning Breakfast, Tuesday Night Supper, or a Bible Study.  But what are you doing to reach the men whose children attend VBS, the church’s Pre-school, youth ministries, men who are involved in the Welcoming Team or ushering or singing in the choir.  Are you encouraging Sunday School Teachers or Home Groups Fellowships to develop something for the men attending?  I have heard of a Lead Usher using business cards to place a verse on one side and a few points about the verse on the other side.  He then gives these cards to the men helping the next Sunday, using the cards as a short devotion, then praying with the men before they begin the morning.  Just five minutes and he is ministering to men.  Or the Sunday School teacher that plans outings with just his men in the class developing relationships to disciple.  There are many ways to create entry points for men to be ministered though the various ministries of the church, we just need to look beyond what we have considered the normal venue for ministering to men.  Which to do this takes us to the next point.
  3. Knowing Your Players. My mentor was a basketball coach for many years thereby using this term.  But you understand what I am saying.  Get to know your men.  Not all men will be drawn to a particular event or study but maybe if it is something they are interested in they will come.  You know the famous line from the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come.”  Conduct a survey with the men of your church.  Go to baptistsonmission.org/Church-Programs/Men-s-Ministry/Resources-and-Events for a ‘Simple Interest Men’s Survey.’  Or use it to create your own.  Just don’t make it too complex.  Then use the information from the surveys to get to Know Your Players and then create opportunities for Entry Points for your men.

There you are, the three common lack of actions most every church is not doing.  When you get your ministry team together begin thinking in these terms.  As you put these actions in play I believe you will begin to see more men involved, especially your younger men.

Together in the adventure and challenge to disciple men – Mike